The McHenry County Conservation District offers over 20 miles of horseback riding trails at four different sites located throughout the county. Trails may close due to wet conditions in the spring and fall or at any time due to unsafe conditions
— call (815) 338-6223 to confirm trail status.
Tip: Use our interactive map to locate specific riding trails!
Glacial Park, Ringwood—OPEN (Last updated 5/6/13)
Trails within the park wind through prairies, past savannas and restored wetlands, then cross the recently re-meandered Nippersink Creek. Trailer parking and trail access is available at the Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry) or the Snowmobile/Equestrian trailer lot on Keystone Road (north of the District’s Keystone Landing). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area; a water hand pump is available at the Keystone Road trailer lot.
Hickory Grove, Cary—OPEN (Last updated 5/10/13)
Lyons Prairie & Marsh—OPEN (Last updated 5/10/13)
Over five miles of easy trails offer a gentle ride through woods and wetlands. The trail crosses Hickory Nut Grove Road and enters the Lyons Prairie & Marsh nature preserve. Trailer parking, water and restrooms are available at Hickory Grove Highlands parking area.
Prairie Trail North (Ringwood to Wisconsin State Line)—OPEN (Last updated 5/6/13)
This trail is a 7-mile converted railroad bed — straight and flat — shared with hikers and bicyclists during the summer and closed during the winter for snowmobile season; trails may close at any time due to unsafe conditions. A spur trail connects to the horseback trails within Glacial Park. The trail can be easily accessed from the Harts Road parking area (off Route 31 north of McHenry). Restroom facilities available at the Harts Road parking area.
Rush Creek, Harvard—OPEN* (Last updated 5/17/13)
Over five miles of easy, beautiful riding through woods, open prairie and across the creek. Trailer parking at the equestrian lot only. Hitching posts, water and restroom facilities are available near the parking area.
*During Winter Months: In the event of a mild winter, the District will try to keep Rush Creek Trails open for riding if: (1) Conditions allow (ie. dry, firm, no ice conditions on trails or parking lot; Note: parking lot will not be plowed. and (2) The forecast shows no winter weather system coming for a week. If a weather system will occur over a weekend or holiday – the trails will close the Friday before or the working day before the holiday and not reopen until the next working day - or when conditions allow.
Call for current conditions. Open/Closed signs will be posted on site, on this page and on the website home page under Site Advisories.
Leafy Spurge — dangerous for horses...
Leafy spurge is an invasive plant species that is toxic to animals and livestock. It produces a milky sap that can cause blistering of the mouth and throat if consumed. Although it is not widespread in our area, it can be seen from early May to October.